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Wedding Wednesday

Timeline Talk Series | Pre-Ceremony |

Ideal Timeline

The pre-ceremony based on my ideal timeline for a photography friendly wedding day includes shooting the details, getting ready photos of the bride & groom, first look, bride & groom photos, bridal party, & family formals. Just a side note here, you don’t have to do things in this order or even before the ceremony, the times will stay about the same as far as how long each event takes to photograph so you can rearrange this to make it fit perfectly for your wedding vision, this is just my recommended timeline based off of past experience & feedback from brides, flow of the day, & a BONUS… this particular order will also allow you to get to your reception early WOOHOO!!!

If you follow this timeline you will literally walk down the aisle with your now HUSBAND, take about 30 min of husband & wife portraits & then go to your cocktail hour or reception! YES its fabulous & brides LOVE being able to be a part of their cocktail hour & spend more time with their guests & lets be honest… get some food on those empty tummies that have been grumbling all day!


When To Add On More Time To Your Photography Coverage

The times listed below are minimum times, you can always add on extra time if you want more family photos or more dancing shots, if you have a large bridal party, long ceremony, extra time to account for travel to & from multiple locations, more bride & groom portrait time, or you have a lot of details & you want more photos of those items.

The timeline below is based off of an 8 hr wedding with 2 photographers & everyone getting ready at the same location which is the venue/ceremony site. If you are getting ready somewhere other than the venue site, you will want to add extra time to travel (travel time plus buffer for traffic/accidents on the road, parking, walking time to getting ready site). Depending on where you live to park & walk to the getting ready site itself could take 20 minutes or more especially in downtown Charleston. I always recommend that the bride & groom get ready at the same location & at the venue site if possible to limit travel time & possibly getting behind schedule due to unforeseen traffic or parking issues.

You will see some items listed below as simultaneously, which means I would be photographing something while my husband is photographing another at the same time.

Pre-ceremony Timeline~ 4 hrs 30 min

With this timeline we arrive at the getting ready site 4 hours & 30 min before the ceremony start time.

  • Details & Bride & Bridesmaid Getting Ready ~ 1 hr
    • This includes getting ready in the bridal suite, fun shot or girls in robes or matching outfits, & detail shots such as the rings, invitation suite, custom stamps or stationary/cards, bouquet, vow books, your dress, shoes, veil, & any other special details.
  • Bride Getting Into Dress & Groom & Groomsmen Getting Ready (Candids of guys) (Photos of dress being buttoned up, photo with all of girls, bride by herself) (These happen simultaneously-2 photographers) ~ 40 min
  • Groom putting on Jacket, groom by himself, & details ~ 15min
  • Walk To First Look ~ 10 min
  • First Look ~ 15 min
  • Bride & Groom Portraits & Individuals ~ 30 min
  • Bridal Party ~ 35 min
    • Full bridal party, bride with bridesmaids, Groom with groomsmen, & individuals (simultaneous)
  • Family Formals With Immediate Family ~ 20 min
    • This is for about 10 family groupings or less
  • Bride In Hiding ~ 45 min before ceremony
    • Approximately 45 min- 1 hour before the ceremony the bride, will be in hiding so no one will see you & you can relax & touch up your makeup. This is the time that we will photograph your ceremony decor (& possibly reception if 100% complete), untouched before the your guests arrive so that you can see how beautiful it is & have a photo to show off all the time, thought, & money you put into your beautiful decorations & wedding vision.


Alright friend, that is the pre-ceremony timeline! As you can see it is jam packed with photo opportunities! The best thing is you knock out the majority of your must have shots at the beginning of the day so that after the ceremony you can relax & enjoy the party! This outline has served many brides on their wedding day & we hope it is helpful for you as well! Thanks for joining us for this week’s “Timeline Talk” & remember to hang out with us again in 2 weeks as we dive into the ceremony & post ceremony timeline!!!


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